Brand Loyalty


Every brand wants their customers to feel “True Brand Love” towards them. The benefits have been proven in multiple studies and include the highest levels of brand loyalty, willingness to pay a price premium, recommendation, and willingness to forgive mistakes.

However, most marketers recognise that not all consumers will treat their brand like a lover, and in fact, there are multiple levels of brand engagement.

An important new study out of the University of Wuppertal in Germany used correlation analysis to map the factors that drive “friend” and “lover” brand relationships. We expanded their model to help explain why some brands are treated like a “servant”, or worse, like a “nobody”.

As with all models, this one has its strengths and limitations. An important aspect to note in this model is that brand engagement is a continuum and that labels like Friend or Servant are merely useful reference points. It is also worth noting that, like in human relationships, a consumer’s engagement may vary over time, potentially even depending on the circumstances.

One thing that this model does clearly identify is that people don’t accidentally fall in love with a brand.

There are four prerequisites for genuine brand love:

  1. I’m satisfied with its performance.

  2. It gives me genuine pleasure.

  3. The brand aligns strongly with my own values and attitudes.

  4. I have had multiple positive personal experiences with it (and not just how others have described their experiences with it to me).


The power of these drivers is remarkable. For example, 69% of Australian consumers will go out of their way to engage with brands who align with their values, while 34% said they’ve stopped supporting the ones that don’t.

Other research has identified that the 10% of ‘most loved’ Australian brands are 80% more likely to be recommended to a friend and 33% of them hold greater pricing power.

We have seen many examples of how these drivers of brand engagement can lead to brand love and its associated benefits for the brand owner.

We have also had a close look at key technologies that are changing how brands can build friend and lover like relationships with their customers.

The report explores these topics in detail and provides salient case studies of their operation. 

We look forward to using these principles to help grow your brand.



Written by Grant Davidson
Grant is the founding partner and head of strategy at Davidson Branding. Over his 30 year career, Grant has developed world’s best practice knowledge and expertise through his studies at Harvard Business School and his experience working with global leading brands.
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